In his quest for finding answers, the man begins to dig deeper into his new "life"
| (NOTE: This is an homage to the story "Parallel Lives" on Fictionmania and another on Tgstorytime. These will be very similar to the extent of the general plot but soon it will begin to diverge. I would recommend reading both stories if you can find them, they are very good!)
I didn't have the opportunity to really do much with the locket for the next few days after my day-long sojourn. Amanda had managed to swing a few days connected for a mini-vacation and we took full advantage of the chance to get away from our house, even if it was only to the cabin that we had that overlooked the lake outside of town. It was calm, peaceful, tranquil...all sorts of words that you could use to describe solitude. Perhaps, "Not work" would be enough?
Our relationship was a happy and strong one. We had known each other since college and after I sowed many a wild oat, I was more than happy to end up on a blind date with my frat brothers and she with her sorority sisters. Most of the time we spent just talking and, sure, I endured a lot of teasing and mockery for it...but it was nice to connect with someone on such a level that I didn't really need to get laid. She certainly had felt the same, later telling me that the urge to get some was met only by the feeling that we were somehow connecting. That doesn't mean that we didn't also get some good sex in...the fact that the house had a broken bed left in my honor for a year after I graduated attested to how "compatible" we were. No one, and I am damn convinced after sleeping with a good number of women, could use her throat and lip muscles like my wife.
We barely made it through the cabin door before the skies opened and rain poured down. If we had been planning on doing some fishing, hiking, or kayaking, the things we normally did at the cabin, then I would understand being upset or put out. The fact that we were otherwise predisposed to doing something else? Well, the rain never bothered me much anyway. Every moment I could spend, I spent it smothering my wife and taking very good care of every possible need or want that she could possibly have. I had no problem doing the three S plan (satiated, satisfied, slammed) routine on her. While there were other men much larger or thicker than me (I was man enough to admit this), I knew how to work it and the smiles on many a girl's face from my room left no doubt about my skills. Amanda certainly had nothing to worry about.
After our trip, Amanda was suddenly plunged into a nightmare of shifts. Apparently, the rain and weather had done wonders for the health of the nursing staff and it left her, as one of the senior nurses, among the few still healthy and on their feet to pick up the slack. Ordinarily, I would be worried about her health and would try to get her to take some time off or, at the very least, to rest and relax. Dinner, movies, books...you name it, I worked it in and every night, she would come home exhausted and merely wave them off before she would collapse in my arms and fall asleep.
It wasn't until the second Wednesday after I had first tried the locket that I had an opportunity to try it out again. Amanda had been sound asleep when her phone rang, and I had the (un)fortunate opportunity to watch as she dragged her sore and still asleep body out of bed and hopped into the shower. I managed to get myself out of bed and made it down to the kitchen, putting together a quick breakfast burrito and a thermos of coffee that she could use for the drive to the county hospital. She didn't have much chance to talk but she came down in her scrubs, light makeup, and her hair in a ponytail, talking on her phone to the on-call supervisor and leaned in quickly to give me a kiss goodbye before she took the bag of food and disappeared down the walkway to her car.
After it disappeared around the bend, I turned and finished putting away the dishes, turned off the stove, and walked back to the bedroom. It was only a few moments later that I slid out my box from the closet and picked up the locket. I opened it to the now somewhat familiar smiling face and then closed it.
I was a bit surprised at the sudden change in clothing as I came too. Gone was the sweater and jeans. I was wearing a pair of long exercise pants that were tight down to the pink and red women's running shoes, not to mention emphasizing the thick nature of my ass for all to see. On top, instead of the shirt and sweater I had thrown on earlier, I was now wearing a red sports bra that had a white trim around the straps. For a quick test, I jumped in place and felt the girls bounce with me, though they were somewhat supported by the material.
Walking towards the door, I paused to look in the mirror. Makeup was again light but served to emphasize my eyes and striking cheekbones. Hair was done in a similar ponytail like Amanda had this morning before she left. I still didn't know how any of this was possible but all I knew was that I was going out for a jog, apparently, and after I grabbed my house keys, I closed the door and took off.
I had managed to set a good pace and found myself jogging among a group of other joggers in the park a few blocks from our house. A few of the older ones smiled and a young woman waved and said hello. I returned the smile and wave before I picked up my pace a bit, feeling the stretch in my thighs but also feeling a lot more energy than I would ordinarily have. To test it, I found a hillier path than what I would usually take, and I paced myself all the way to the top and back down.
As I stopped to rest, another female jogger came up and sat down. "That is one hell of a hike..."
I smiled and nodded. "I usually don't go up there myself," agreeing with her that it was a bit of a challenge. After she caught her breath, I motioned for her to join me on a run. It was a bit unusual to think about it at the time, and I didn't really notice that this had happened, but the fact that two women were running in the park made me feel a bit more...secure? Comfortable? It was hard to describe, and I resolved I would ask Amanda about it later. Still, having her as a partner helped keep me at a good pace and it was nice to talk with her.
As we ended the run and were about to part, she smiled and offered her hand. "I'm Tiffany, by the way. Nice to meet you."
I shook it and thought of a name, any name, to give her. "Myka." A momentary sensation like the wave that usually comes from changing washed over me again and when I looked at my running partner, her eyes looked a little dazed at first but as soon as it came, it went.
"Nice to meet you, Myka. We should go running again." Tiffany looked at her watch and then turned back to me. "Same time again on Friday?"
I didn't know how to answer her, really, but all I did was nod and returned the smile before she turned and walked off to the parking lot. I immediately turned and walked, or ran...depending, back to the house. I fumbled with the keys nervously, hands were shaking, but soon I managed to get the door open. It was another few steps until I reached the locket and I opened it. Inside, looking back at me, was my face. My real face. I was never so happy when I closed the locket and found myself looking back at my male body. I was still wearing pajamas and slippers from this morning, but I had no problems with that. I took the locket and put it back in the box of stuff on the floor and resolved to take it out that day. Salvation Army was only a few miles away by car, I could do it.
Ever notice the thing about resolve? It always sounds tough and definite until you need to put it to the test. Then, if in my case, the true strength of it emerged: I didn't.
I mean, I didn't try it again, the sensation of turning into a woman and suddenly coming up with a name spooked me a bit. Was this persona of mine actually Myka? Or was that a name that I randomly came up with at the spur of the moment? And if it was really that person, what else about this woman did I assume when my body changed to her? So many questions left unanswered and I couldn't bring myself to turn it over. At least not until this question was resolved.
The good thing that came out of Amanda's hellish work schedule was that I was often left to my own devices for lengthy stretches of time. I had no problems working from home and had invested a good chunk of change into a computer rig that had enough power to almost fly the space shuttle. One good ping of being a Junior Vice-President was that you knew people who knew people. The key selling point was that I got everything in that box. Free. After that, Amanda didn't say anything about it.
I dived into researching everything I could find about the house. Past owners, town history, anything and everything that I could to come up with some sort of answer or direction on where to focus my research. The good thing about the internet was that a lot of material was available online. The bad thing about the internet was that a lot of material was available online. Records, history reports, page after page of names to cross-reference.
After a few days, I became like a man obsessed. I found out several names of owners for the house and it seemed a bit promising, though most of the records were not available and required me to hop over to the library. I managed to dig up old archival microfilm on newspaper articles and began there. The most recent family to own the house was the Leigh family and they were easily ruled out, being white. The more I dug, the easier it was to cross off name after name until I was left with two family names: the Robinsons and the Schuster Families.
The Robinson family was among the first to live in the house decades ago, but they were also easily crossed off, mainly because the family was again all white. I was about to cross off the Schuster Family out of hand because, let's face it, Schuster was the least likely to be a family name for African Americans. Still, I took a chance and pulled it up. Sure enough, the family was a mix. The husband was white, but the wife's picture was black. They had several children, 2 sons and 3 daughters, all of whom were staring back seemingly at me through the screen. The picture of one of the daughters was striking in resemblance to the picture of the woman in the locket but I wasn't absolutely convinced.
Still, a lead was a lead and after the printer coughed up the image, I put it among my notes and left for home.
By the time I pulled up into the driveway, I had managed to go through everything that I could about the woman and especially about what it meant to have a potential connection to the Schuster Family. It made no mention of a Myka anywhere, but the name was really something else altogether separate from the more pressing issue: if the picture was indeed one of the daughters, what happened to her? Did the Locket possess a picture PRIOR to hers? If it changed me into a woman and put my likeness in the locket, would someone else who found the locket with my picture, opened and then closed it, would that person then become me?
I went back into my study and pulled out the locket from the small coinbox I kept on the nightstand. A quick glance told me that I had some time before Amanda came home and I walked back out to the living room, looking at the picture inside the locket and then, after sitting down, compared it to the picture of the Schuster woman. There were some striking resemblances, indeed, and I became laser focused on picking out some details, similarities, and mostly differences.
So laser focused, in fact, that I missed completely the sound of Amanda's car pulling up in the driveway. It was only the sound of the door slamming shut that caused me to jump a bit and when I spotted her paused at the car, talking on her phone, I immediately looked down at the mass of papers spread out before me. It was easy enough to put them together and tucked into my back pocket, but the locket was still open, on the table, and I had no idea if I would have enough time to close it before she came in. Taking a chance, I prayed silently to whatever god or gods were listening and closed it anyway.
Just as the wave came over me and washed away, Amanda opened the door and looked at me. "Oh...hey, Myka. Sorry, I forgot completely that you were coming over."
As I sat there, looking a little confused, Amanda quickly put her purse down on the couch and walked over to where I was sitting. "Here, let me get the check for you." Before I could say anything, she turned and walked down the hallway towards the bedroom. It took her a few moments before she came back out and handed me an envelope. "Hope it helps."
With a small smile, I made my excuses and stepped out of the house. I had been outside before, though it had been a few weeks ago at this point and that had been for a jog. Now that Amanda was home, I wondered if I should walk a few moments, find a secluded spot, and then change back. I'm sure that it wouldn't be too hard to explain why I had gone for a walk but the idea of finding out more about this new life of mine became more and more intoxicating.
Just as I was about to head on back, I glanced at the envelope in my hand. MYKA HOWARD. I knew of a neighbor down the block by the name of Terrance Howard. He had been a single dad with a young son named Jayson and a daughter named Hillary. I felt a slight tingle on my hand and looking down, I spotted the two rings and a nice sized stone on one of them. As Myka, that would not only make me his wife but their mother as well.
Not really knowing what awaited me, I walked the block until I reached the house that the Howards lived in and, with a deep breath, opened the door.